WPT Vietnam Main Event sets country’s largest-ever prizepool of VND 13.1 Billion; Mike Takayama tops Day 1C

For the past few weeks, the World Poker Tour has been busy spreading their brand of poker all over the region with the WPT Asia Swing taking place in Japan, Korea, and now Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. For the latter, it was their inaugural visit with nine days of games lined up from September 26 to October 4 at Pro Poker Club.

With the festival having completed its fifth day, the past three have all been about the Main Event and the VND 8 Billion Guaranteed prize pool on offer. For each successive starting day, the attendance increased tremendously. Day 1A kicked off with 105, Day 1B more than doubled to 250, and tonight, at Day 1C, 324 entries stormed in for a combined total of 679. With each entry at VND 22M each, not only did this obliterate the guarantee, but it also set a new live tournament prize pool record of VND 13,172,600,000 (~US$565,000) for the country.

The biggest prize pool in Vietnam

2018 is undoubtedly a key year for poker in Vietnam. Ever since the doors opened to Vietnamese players, the numbers have been mind-blowing. Every visiting international tour has seen the combination of a large local force and a strong showing of international players merge at the tables. This was further exemplified by the successful arrival of the highly prestigious WPT brand.

Day 1C recap

The last starting day of the Main Event drew in a massive attendance of 324 runners. The opening round alone was already a big one as it surpassed the numbers of Day 1A. The biggest names in the Asian circuit were seen battling it out all day. One of the biggest perhaps was WSOP bracelet winner Mike Takayama. His difficulties at Day 1B sent him back in for another attempt and this time he made every bit of it count. Out of the day’s 91 survivors, Takayama bagged up the chip lead with 281,500 in chips.

Mike Takayama

Another familiar face in the Asian circuit also amassing an impressively large stack was China’s Gao Wenling with 255,500. Gao was on her second bullet of the day having busted on a failed bluff on her first buy-in.

Gao Wenling

WPT Vietnam has seen incredible support by players from India and joining the leaders up top was one of their own, Alok Birewar with 263,000 in chips. Birewar was just one of many seen at the tables today; in attendance were known pros Kunal Patni, Raghav Bansal, Sumit Sapra, and WSOP bracelet winner Nikita Luther.

Alok Birewar
Alok Birewar

Other players making it through were Yohwan Lim, Soo Jo Kim, Piet Pape, Chua Shan Hui, and Viet kieu John Phan. WPT multi champion Sam Panzica also through to Day 2 however for several known pros: German pro Marvin Rettenmaier, Danny Tang, and Linh Tran, their run ended today.

Day 2 preview

In total, 178 players will return for Day 2 on Monday, October 1 at 12pm. The prize pool was up on the screens. Payouts will begin at 85 places. We will see that reached tomorrow. Though still another day away, first place will take home VND 2,427,580,000 big ones.

Ringing in Day 2 with an enormous stack is Austria’s Tran Hanh with 437,000 in chips. He is practically in a zone of his own with no other player breaching the 400k marker. Hanh is a WSOP bracelet winner, one he won this year for US$1000 2-7 Lowball. He will be the man to catch up to. Nguyen Thai Duong is in second position with 315,500, Norbert Koh in third rank with 307,000, and Takayama next with 281,500.

You can view the full seat draw here:

Day 2 Seat Draw

Somuchpoker will continue to provide full coverage of WPT Vietnam from start to finish.

Article by Tricia David

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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